19-year-old student died of believed bacterial infection Friday morning

University, health officials address students on potential health risks

Sophomore Carly Glynn, 19, died early Friday morning of a suspected bacterial infection, university spokesman Kent Cassella said.

Glynn, who is a family community services major according to the MSU directory, was taken to Sparrow Hospital in Lansing by friends around midnight Thursday night and died a few hours later, according to an email from the MSU Provost Office.

Officials with the Ingham County Health Department and MSU’s University Physician’s Office are investigating potential causes of death, one of which is suspected to be the meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection.

Justin Wan / The State News
Justin Wan / The State News
Justin Wan / The State News

Marcus Cheatham, a public information officer from the Ingham County Health Department, said Glynn’s test results are not yet confirmed.

“We are acting as if it is some form of meningococcal disease,” Cheatham said.

Meningococcal disease, or bacterial meningitis, commonly reflects as flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, fever, nausea and vomiting and is an inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.

MSU University Physician Beth Alexander, who gave a presentation to students and staff today in the Snyder-Phillips Theater, said Glynn suffered from a sore throat, aches, flu-like symptoms and a rash before she was taken to the hospital by friends.

Alexander said the health department and officials are working to determine the exact cause of death as quickly as possible. She said the results on whether or not Glynn’s cause of death was meningitis could come in as early as tomorrow.

Meningococcal disease is not extremely contagious and is only spread through “intimate” contact such as sharing water bottles or kissing, Cheatham said.

Alexander said there have been about 15 cases of meningitis in the past 20 years at MSU, but there has never been what could be described as an outbreak.

Ingham County Health Department Disease Control Manager Ruby Rodgers said all known contacts of Glynn who could have been affected by the disease have been notified and given preventative medication.

“That should prevent those people from developing diseases,” Rodgers said.

Students with similar symptoms have been encouraged to contact Olin Student Health Center or their health care provider. Director of Student Health Services Glynda Moorer said Olin’s hours likely will be extended until 3 p.m. tomorrow to accommodate for student questions, concerns and possible vaccinations. Students can check their immunization status at immunize.msu.edu.

Students who attended the presentation also were advised to wash hands and not to share personal items, and were recommended to go to the MSU Counseling Center if they were suffering from any emotional repercussions of Glynn’s death.

Jenny Crakes, a freshman in the Residential College of Arts and Humanities, attended the presentation and said it was helpful to have the information provided so soon after the incident.

“It was definitely a useful thing for them to do, because I don’t have the vaccination myself,” she said.

Although Crakes did not know Glynn personally, she said the situation was a distressing one and expressed concern for Glynn’s family and friends.

“It’s a really sad situation,” Crakes said.

Staff writer Samantha Radecki contributed to this report.

Keep checking statenews.com and The State News for further updates.

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